Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Country Chronicles: 'Harvest Home'

Back in 1983, prior to discovering Big Country at the age of 13, most of the music I loved was the result of digging through my Mom's record collection of Beatles, Beach Boys and Monkees. I liked David Bowie and a few other contemporaries, but Big Country was brand new and the first band that felt like was mine. And wow, what a sound! I had never heard anything like it. I was obsessed. For about three years I bought up all the Big Country vinyl that was released... and they released a lot.

Today, Big Country is more about nostalgia, and I gave up on their new music after 1986, but I still have a pretty big soft spot for these Scottish lads. So, it's with that in mind I'm creating the Big Country Chronicles. One day a week I'll share singles, remixes, B-sides, demos and live songs from my favorite band of that era. I'm guessing this will take a few months.

This is the song that started it all. "Harvest Home" was Big Country's first single, and the 12" was released more than a year before the band's first album, 'The Crossing'. This version wasn't the one that appears on that album, but unlike all of Big Country's other 12" singles, it isn't a remix or extended version either. In fact, it's even a little shorter than the album version that was released on July 19, 1983. This is the version that helped get them signed to Phonogram, and it was released on Feb. 22, 1982. In my opinion, the B-sides on this single are a little weak... especially "Flag of Nations (Swimming)". Shockingly, "Balcony" appeared on the soundtrack to the 1984 film 'Against All Odds'. Yes, that's the soundtrack with the Phil Collins smash. The sound quality on this vinyl is not the best, but my other 12" singles are pretty good. In next week's installment, we begin the extended singles from 'The Crossing' era.

Big Country - Harvest Home 12" (mp3)
Big Country - Balcony (mp3)
Big Country - Flag of Nations (Swimming (mp3)

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